Shulato #36

"An Urgent Message! The Last Battle"

synopsis by Arcadia

A year has passed since the war with the Asura gods. Tenkuukai is peaceful again. The Hachibushu have scattered all over Tenkuukai in search of their own fortunes. Lakshu stayed in Tenkuuden as the next Harmony Goddess. Mii even managed to find a girlfriend (Minchi) and have a family of Mini-Mii's (SORRY! I couldn't resist!).

Lakshu sees Mii and Minchi sitting together on the balcony and comments that they always seem so free and happy. Since she became the Harmony Goddess, she feels like a bird in a cage. She misses the freedom and adventures she has while traveling with Shulato and the others. And, of course, she misses Shulato.

Lakshu tries to meditate and send Sohma out to Tenkuukai like Vishnu had done, but she can't keep her mind on the task at hand. She's trying her best to live up to Vishnu's standards, but she can't concentrate. She misses Shulato, and can't stop thinking about him. One of the priests notices her lapse in concentration and tries to remind her of the importance of the ritual. Lakshu apologizes, trying (but not quite succeeding) to talk politely like Vishnu did. She tries to concentrate again, but once more she can't think of anything but the Hachibushu. This time, she's sure that something awful is going to happen.

Lakshu gathers Mii, Minchi and some of their naga friends on the balcony. She gives them each a crystal ball and tells them to find the Hachibushu.

Minchi finds Ryouma sitting in a cave, carving a huge statue of Vishnu out of the wall.

One of the nagas finds Reiga diggin new irrigation trenches in his garden. He wants to grow lots of flowers to make Tenkuukai beautiful again.

Another naga finds Kuuya teaching some village children about Sohma. He's using a giant, flat rock as a blackboard :).

Dan is in a city, showing of his strength in an arm-wrestling competition. After beating his fifth opponent, no one else wants to challenge him.

Renge is back in Kateh village, acting as the village doctor. However, her bedside manner leaves a lot to be desired.

Hyuga is in a forest, feeding Sohma to a tree. If he feeds it enough, it will grow into a new Tenkuuju. Though it may take years, he is determined to succeed.

Shulato trudges through the forest wearing weights on his wrists and ankles. He comes across some traveling merchants trying unsuccessfully to push their wagon up a hill. He walks up and offers to push it for them, but the merchants laugh. The five of them together couldn't make it go! But Shulato pushes it easily with only one arm.

Mii finds him and gives his the crystal ball. Lakshu appears in it and says that something terrible is going to happen, and that all the Hachibushu should go to Pujantar village at once. Shulato asks Mii what's going on, but the little naga doesn't know. Deciding he should hurry, Shulato takes off the wrist- and ankle-weights and throws them to one of the merchants. The poor guy can't even lift it! Shulato runs off... and falls into a hole.

Later, Shulato is taking a shortcut over a mountain, when he sees someone following him. He tries to attack, but the person blocks his attack. Shulato jumps to attack again- and runs right into Reiga. Reiga comments that Shulato's bulked up, and that he needed it. Poor Shulato doesn't even get what he was saying.

Shulato and Reiga watch the sunset, thinking about how peaceful Tenkuukai is now. Shulato thinks it's boring. Reiga, remembering all the fighting, says that this is how Tenkuukai was meant to be, and it's their job to keep it that way. Shulato asks if Lakshu's urgent message could mean that there are still Asura gods around. Reiga says that's unlikely... or at least, he hopes it is.

Hyuga runs through the forest toward Pujantar village. He comes to what he thinks is a clearing, but when he gets there, he sees that all the trees in that area have been knocked over. What could have done that? Suddenly, what looks like a black tidal wave comes towering over the trees.

Lakshu stands on the balcony waiting for the little nagas to come back. Six of the have returned, but the one that went after Hyuga is still gone. Lakshu decides to get going to Pujantar village anyway.

Dan arrives at the village, apparently before anyone else. But he's not alone- he senses someone hiding behind one of the rocks. He is surprised to see Kuuya come out from behind it. Kuuya had been trying to hide his Sohma, but Dan sensed it, anyway. He's improved over the last year. And Kuuya's not the only one. There's someone in the trees, too! Dan throws a stone and someone jumps out of the trees and catches it. It's Renge!

Kuuya remembers that this village is where Ryouma was born. If that's true, why wasn't he here before them? Ans why did Lakshu summon them here? Dan isn't worried. Tenkuukai is peaceful again, so what could it be?

Their conversation is interrupted by a feather floating past them. It's one of Reiga's! Reiga and Shulato jump out from behind a rock. Dan challenges Shulato to an arm-wrestling match, which Shulato gladly accepts. Renge acts as the judge. Shulato wins rather easily. I guess those weights must have been really heavy.

Kuuya and Reiga are still wondering why Lakshu summoned them. Kuuya thinks that maybe they should call her Lady Lakshu now, since she's the new Harmony Goddess. Reiga doesn't think it sounds right.

Lakshu arrives on the scene, carried by Mii and Minchi. The little nagas finally lose their grip, and Lakshu falls on Shulato. Not much of an entrance for a Harmony Goddess. It makes one wonder how Vishnu traveled. Carried by a pair of flying tortoises, maybe?

Everyone wants to know what the urgent message was about. Lakshu smiles a bit, then says they're here for... a WEDDING. Shulato just about has a cow, as does everyone else. He thinks Lakshu means THEIR wedding! But Lakshu quickly corrects them. She brings out Matsuri, who is going to be Ryouma's new bride. Ryouma has spent the last year carving a statue of Vishnu. While Lakshu was meditating, she sensed that Ryouma had finished it and would be coming home today. She called everyone to the village so they wouldn't miss Ryouma's wedding!

Night falls, and everyone, including Matsuri in her wedding dress, is still waiting for Ryouma. For that matter, Hyuga hasn't shown up, either. Finally, Ryouma makes it across the lake and enters the village. Matsuri runs out to meet him. The two hold hands for a second, with the entire village hooting and catcalling.

Lakshu presides over the wedding ceremony, and everyone applauds when it's over. Matsuri throws a wreath of flowers into the crowd, and Shulato catches it. Reiga congradulates him- the person who catches the wreath is supposed to be the next one to get married! Oops! Shulato tries to palm it off on Kuuya and Dan, but they won't have anything to do with it. Finally Shulato just throws it on the ground.

Renge picks up the wreath and thinks of Hyuga. He still hasn't shown up. It's not like his to miss his best friend's wedding. Something drops onto her cheek. Renge wipes it off and sees that it's blood. She looks and and sees a wounded little naga flying toward the village. It's the naga that went to find Hyuga!

Something must have happened to Hyuga! The others, including Ryouma (poor Matsuri!), decide to go find out what.

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